Alliance Councillor Tom Ekin, and former Lord Mayor of Belfast, has described as ‘incredible’ the inability of DUP councillor, Ruth Patterson, in a BBC interview to describe Loyalists in similar terms that she used for Republicans.
Tom Ekin stated:
“In City Hall last night, great efforts were made to ensure that the Council presented a common front in opposing all paramilitary and criminal violence in the community, irrespective of where it occurs and where it comes from. All constitutional parties including the DUP and Alliance were engaged in a process of amendment to produce a series of constructive motions.
“After the debate, when asked by the BBC to describe Loyalists in the same terms as she had described Republicans, Cllr Patterson replied that it was ‘a difficult question’, and then proceeded to back off from the camera and engage in a long pause, before conceding that the journalist may have a point.
“This was an ‘incredible’ response Perhaps Cllr Patterson could explain what aspect of the question she didn’t understand.
“In the Chamber, the DUP were making clear their opposition to all violence, but outside they were fumbling.
“This episode illustrate that away from the scripted speeches, there remains an inability on the part of some unionists to judge Loyalist paramilitaries on the same terms as Republicans.”